NZ politics by Austen

Jane Clifton looks at New Zealand politics through Jane Austen’s novels:

We have Labour and the Greens, who anyone can see are made for each other, doing a comprehensive Pride and Prejudice. Just like Mr Darcy, the Greens make an overture to Labour, while making it plain that Labour is really a bit beneath their station and would need to remedy certain unsatisfactory traits and sign a pre-nup first, and Labour comes the full Elizabeth Bennet and tells them to naff off – while making eyes at the dashing but unbecomingly experienced Mr Wickham, aka Winston Peters.

Now Labour leader David Cunliffe is being hauled over the coals for his pertness by a patron every bit as formidable as Lady Catherine de Bourgh: the Labour left, who installed him in office and who expect him to know his duty.

At least in Austen-land, dear reader, all would be well for the left in the end. But it seems destined to transfer to more of a Henry James trajectory: elaborate emotional turmoil culminating, though always elegantly, in open-ended misery. Either the left/New Zealand First parties will fail to build a winning share of the vote, in part precisely because of these inept courting carryings-on making them look disunited, and National will stay in office; or the left will scrape in burdened with intra-party ill will.

Admittedly it’s always amazing how quickly a chip on the shoulder can expire the minute an MP’s bum hits ministerial leather. But the past week’s untidy guts-spilling on the left makes it plain there is simply not enough leather to soothe all the bruised and jockeying egos involved. . .

 Sadly this disarray and distrust on the left doesn’t make it any more certain that we’ll have a National-led government after the election.


This illustrates why MMP continues to bemuse some voters; how can such contradictory propositions be justifiable at the same time? On the one hand, surely voters should know that if they vote for Party X, that will be as good as voting for Party Y as well because, given the chance, the two will buddy up in the Beehive. Voters might like Party X but deplore Party Y, and should have the information on which to weigh their choice.

On the other hand, such advance team-picking has the effect of railroading some voters into voting tactically rather than strictly honestly – most often so as to minimise the chance of getting the party they badly don’t want in Government, rather than to maximise the chances of the party they most fervently support. NZ First is prey to this, in that most of its supporters will have a marked preference for/aversion to either Labour or National, and if they think Winston will go a particular way, that’s going to cost him votes. He is very wise to say, “If you like me, vote for me.” This agnosticism allows him to auction for the best policy deal.

But then voters become uncomfortable with a minor party holding the balance of power, “wagging the dog”, king-making and so on – unless, of course, the kingmaker is the party they voted for, in which case it’s called “keeping the bastards honest”.

Depending on one’s politics, it might seem reassuring to recall that Mr Wickham was run out of town, and that in the modern version, all Mr Darcy had to do in the end was take his shirt off and jump in a lake.

But there, thankfully dear reader, the Austen-ness of it all comes to a felicitous end.

No party is promising the fairy tale happily ever after. But a government led by National would bring more of the policies which are working and considerably more stability than we’d get from the left.

79 Responses to NZ politics by Austen

  1. robertguyton says:

    A John Key, (with Winston Peters as Deputy), Colin Craig, Jamie Whyte, Peter Dunne Government would be nothing short of ridiculous.
    Metiria and Russel for Co-Deputy. Cunliffe for PM!
    Sounds much more sensible.


  2. RBG says:

    Hey Homepaddock, the Greens are the desirable character and you get to be Mrs Bennet!


  3. Mr E says:

    Two RGs.
    One with a Pseudonym.


  4. RBG says:

    Got nothing to do with Robert Guyton. Got nothing against Robert Guyton either. Homepaddock should change the title of this post, should be Austen. There is probably someone out there disappointed that it wasn’t about old English cars. If it was, the Greens would get to be a fuel efficient Mini, Labour a practical Maxi and National with their old fashioned attitudes to climate change get to be an Austin Seven. Attention seeking Winston would be an Austin Healey, flash looking, but a bit of a liability if you buy one.


  5. Mr E says:

    No RBG,
    Greens have a policy of turning 100% of NZ farms organic.
    Recent research indicates organics emit more carbon per unit of product than conventional systems.
    In my mind that makes the Greens a dirty big American Cadillac spewing out black smoke.


  6. robertguyton says:

    “Research indicates”
    Research conducted in your fevered imagination, Mr Enonymous.
    Claims of the Green “car” you see in your imagination is nothing more than your failed attempt to provoke green readers – the use of hyperbole is generally frowned upon by experienced commenters, but in your case, you’ve failed to grasp that.
    Equating organics with “spewing out black smoke'” is classic, witless hyperbole. You used to have some useful things to say, Mr E, but those days have gone.


  7. robertguyton says:

    And it’s “you’re” – “you” & “are”, with the “a” substituted with a ‘.


  8. RBG says:

    Mr E. Can you please provide a link to evidence that Organic farming produces more CO2 emissions. I am very concerned about climate change, but also worried about the effects of widespread pesticide use in conventional agriculture (for example the effects on bees and the flow on consequences for food production) If you are correct in your assertion, then we really are stuck between a rock and a hard place.


  9. Willdwan says:

    It’s obvious…organic lambs and cattle are slower growing, and take longer to reach target weights, so they need to eat more for the same result. So they emit more enteric methane than their short-lived high performance counterparts. A similar paradigm exists for dairy. It’s all down to using the pasture as efficiently as possible.

    In reality, Mr E’s point is not valid because methane is irrelevant as a greenhouse gas, but that is a highly technical matter that government ‘science’ has yet to catch up with.


  10. Mr E says:

    I caught a few fish today. One bigger and angrier than the others.

    Do you want links to the research again Robert?


  11. robertguyton says:

    “In reality, Mr E’s point is not valid”
    Will and I – on the same page on that. But not on this:
    Factory-farmed chickens, Will, obscenely unnatural travesties of nature that they are, massively over-thighed and unable even to walk like a real chicken, grow much faster than a free-range, scritchin’ and scratchin’ ‘normal’ chicken.
    You seem to be pimping for the former ‘Franken-chicken’, over the real bird. Your citing of ‘target weight’, for example – whose target? The cow or sheep’s? You are thinking in factory-manager-think.
    In any case, your faster-growing cow is more than likely eating urea-primed grass that has a higher nitrate content that the grasses of the organic farmer, so you ‘creates less greenhouse gas’ theory is not a sound one. If you have reliable data, please provide it, otherwise yours is mere speculation.
    Mr E, priding yourself on a hyperbolic diatribe, even when liking it to fishing, is a nonsense and makes it seem as though you have no real argument at all. Your refusal to respond to questions and your over-reliance on links adds to that impression. Have you lost your nerve? Can you not argue your case? Seems you’re (see!) ‘doing a Key’ and becoming so slippery that even you can’t get a grip on what you stand for.


  12. Mr E says:

    You think methane is not important? That is the context of Will statement that you agreed with.
    I’ll assume that to be the case, and I will disagree with you. Methane is important. And organic farmers are spewing it. It’s being coughed out like the air bladder from a fish dragged from the deep blue. Oozing relentlessly.

    I see you don’t like the reference to the Oxford University study of 71 farms. Yep only 71. That is all. Just 71 by Oxford University.

    I’m wondering why you aren’t countering it with your own supportive studies. Is it possible you have nothing?


  13. robertguyton says:

    Will’s got you pegged, E.
    Methane – it’s being emitted by hooved animals, there’s no doubt about that! John Key claims New Zealand is leading the world in finding solutions to emissions from agriculture, only, there’s no sign of any progress, so far as I can see. Perhaps Mr E, you can talk about the great strides we have made in this research? It’s important, you see, because the “we’re doing fantastic research” argument is being used by Key to counter charges that he and his pro-dairy mates are doing nothing REAL about the problem, just promising that “a lot’s going on, by golly, and we’re onto the problem!” No they are not. They are fobbing-off the public while their pet industry continues to crank out the greenhouse gases.
    What do you say, Mr Apologisty?


  14. Mr E says:

    Sure Robert,
    I can talk about some the the research. I’ve been involved in some of it.
    It’s hard research to do. Testing with methane yolks, to assess systems is riddled with error, making it hard to prove significant improvements. All sorts of things have been tried to reduce emissions. Including Breed variations and species variations. One of your neighbours has efficient sheep. Leon. Not surprisingly they are high performance animals. High performance seems to be the trick to reducing emissions. Not low performance.

    We want fast growing, high output to run the best systems when it comes to emissions. Some might call that intensification. We don’t want slow growing, like your beloved organics tend to be. That’s why research show them as pollution problems. Often product is not grown fast enough.


  15. RBG says:

    Thanks Mr. E. The article you have linked to (and excuse me Robert Guyton, but I asked Mr. E for a link so don’t diss him for supplying one) doesn’t support your sweeping generalisation that all organic farms release heaps more GHGs than conventional farms. It says “Organic milk, cereals, and pork all generated higher greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product than their conventionally farmed counterparts – although organic beef and olives had lower emissions in most cases.”
    This study only looked at European farms, it doesn’t tell us what types of farms were studied , what practices they use and how many of those were comparable to NZ farms. The article doesn’t mention sheep farming at all.

    A quick google search asking about the greenhouse gas emissions of organic farms compared to conventional farms brought up many articles that contradict your claims that organic farms produce more GHGs.

    But what is probably most relevant is this 2010 study of New Zealand dairy farms

    Click to access ghg-report.pdf

    On-farm Greenhouse Gas Emissions from 23
    Surveyed Organic and Conventional NZ Dairy Farms which stated

    “Organic farms, which were less intensive in terms of resource inputs and stock density, had
    significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per hectare. However organic and conventional
    farming systems had almost identical GHG emissions per unit of milk production”


  16. Mr E says:

    RBG I seriously underestimated you, and have suddenly lifted my opinion massively. I have been shooting my mouth off in glee and you are the first to call me out. The first to thoughtfully consider my claims.

    And I completely agree with your assessment.

    You will notice though that I have been careful not to chuck all organics in the same pile. My statements have generally provided an out for some organic systems.

    To be frank organic olives don’t surprise me one little bit.

    Beef – interesting. Consider the UK systems. They tend to be indoor. Where the internal parasite, the animal growth nemesis, is absent. And I can see there would be little difference in this scenario.

    Here in NZ our outdoor systems have internal parasites which are a big challenge on nearly all ‘summer moist’ systems. Consequently I doubt they would have the same emission. But I concede I could be wrong on this assessment.

    And yes I have sat on the MAF project findings, ignoring them, cheekily. My recollection was there was no significant difference between organic and conventional. Although organic ‘tended’ to be higher. Although that is a very unscientific thing to say. More tongue and cheek.

    But to outright frank. Going to organic with dairy would not benefit our emissions. Simple as that. So they’re no better than conventional systems from that matter. And if we really do want to feed population growth, conventional wins over and over.

    Dairy systems tend not to have an internal parasite problem. Conventional gains in efficiency are offset by their losses of nitrous oxide, a costly greenhouse gas.

    Sheep i cannot find information on. But in my experience I would bank on ‘summer moist’ systems being high emission farms. But research is poor here. Worms are a big issue.

    Dryland environments may see an opposite affect. For those that use feeds like lucerne and smart systems. Again I’m guessing but logic tells me this seems right.

    Good work RBG. You called me out. I respect that.


  17. robertguyton says:

    I was thinking exactly the same thing as RBG – uncanny!
    It’s a bit sly of you, Mr E, to “have sat on the MAF project findings, ignoring them, cheekily”, and still expected to be treated with respect when you made your hyperbolic claims. I guess that’s how “Righties” get their kicks. All in all, it shows you to be someone whose not to be taken seriously on serious issues.
    I’d like to ask, though I expect no serious reply, why you say nitrous oxide is “a costly greenhouse gas.”


  18. Mr E says:

    You add so little to the debate Robert. Again.
    I sat on the MAF results because they were neither for or against. And I hoped someone would engage me in debate on the issue. I hoped Dave would bring up the MAF research, indeed expecting his research skills to have considered this.
    RBG has proven to be the person. Kudos I think.

    He or she has come out of the blue, researched it and made some sensible debate. While the rest of the organic supporters have danced on a pin head. Unwittingly or unknowingly.

    It has been funny to watch. For me at least.


  19. TraceyS says:

    Robert at 8:01pm:



  20. Mr E says:



  21. robertguyton says:

    The ‘nitrous oxide’ question, Mr E?


  22. Andrei says:

    So how have you spent Easter Sunday 2014 Robert Guyton?

    It must be very sad to be a Marxist on holy holidays – of course the Soviet Communists came up with their own holy days to compensate but the modern Western ones who are their successors, such as yourself haven’t managed pull that off yet, not that the Soviets really did either,

    We had Earth hour a few weeks back of course but that was a real fizzer.

    We do of course we have our politicians favourite religious festival which they all faithfully attend – Auckland’s Big Gay Out – a pagan celebration of sodomy , but worthless politicians always appeal to the basest instincts of mankind.

    Auckland is a bit far from Riverton for you to go and wallow in the mire at that sordid event with our Godless political elites though.

    So what does a loser Marxist do on a Holy day?

    Splatter trash comments on a blog from dawn to dusk it would seem


  23. TraceyS says:

    Seems we are all more similar to one another than we care to admit. We all make grammatical or spelling errors. We all have a carbon footprint, organic or not.

    All oocephali in the one basket, that’s us.


  24. TraceyS says:

    “I am very concerned about climate change, but also worried about the effects of widespread pesticide use in conventional agriculture (for example the effects on bees and the flow on consequences for food production)”

    For RBG:

    “Roughly 443 million kilograms less pesticide was applied to fields between 1996 and 2010 because insect-resistant crops were being grown. Less pesticide means more beneficial insects and birds and less pesticide contamination of water. Replacing toxic agricultural chemicals with biological solutions was environmentalist Rachel Carson’s dream. Herbicide-tolerant GM crops have made big strides in reducing topsoil loss and improving soil quality. No-till farming keeps the soil on the land and organic matter and water in the soil. It also reduces CO2 emissions from tillage: in 2010 alone, this reduction was equivalent to taking nine million cars off the road.

    Why would any environmentalist or champion of sustainable farming oppose such progress?”

    Federoff, N (2014).

    (Note: Modern “no till” methods involve broadcast use of herbicide. We don’t do that on our place preferring to till, for many reasons, which I don’t need to go into. So tilling has a higher carbon footprint? So what! It’s our choice and I’ll fight for our right to choose the best methods for our property).

    You are right to question if we are between a rock and a hard place. We are when it comes to so-called “green” agendas. Absolutely.


  25. RBG says:

    Mr. E. You were prepared to regularly repeat your claim that organic farming had more carbon emissions than conventional and use this as a reason to heap scorn on the Greens. You knew you were lying.

    The Greens want to encourage (not force) a widespread change to organic farming in NZ. To quote the article you linked to Mr.E “ organic farming almost always supports more biodiversity and generally has a positive wider environmental impact per unit of land”.

    TraceyS . Cosmos magazine! There are NO references anywhere, it’s just an opinion piece FFS.
    There are no references to back up claims such as “GMOs are responsible for a significant fraction of recent yield increases in the crops where they are used”or “Roughly 443 million kilograms less pesticide was applied to fields between 1996 and 2010 because insect-resistant crops were being grown.”

    “If popular myths about farmer suicides, tumours and toxicity had an ounce of truth to them, the ag-biotech companies selling GM seeds would long since have been driven out of business by lawsuits and vanishing sales” Crap! The families of bankrupt farmers in India can not afford to take Monsanto to court. I could spend half the day finding peer-reviewed scientific articles to debunk your claims, but I’ve got life to get on with.

    Willdwan “methane is irrelevant as a greenhouse gas, but that is a highly technical matter that government ‘science’ has yet to catch up with.” Irrelevant as a greenhouse gas- yeah right! You might know a lot about farming Willdwan, but you’re shit at physics and chemistry.

    Most of you commenters here MAKE STUFF UP! You lie, you twist the facts and you abuse those who disagree with you.


  26. Mr E says:

    Funny RBG,

    I didn’t lie. Studies show most organic systems emit more carbon than their counter parts. That’s no lie that is a fact.
    I would be surprised if even you presented a completely balanced view RBG. Anything but seems to be lies according to you.

    I would expect carbon emissions to dramatically increase if the Greens got their way – turning 100% of NZ farms green.
    My main reasoning is – our major products are animal products produced in outdoor systems. For the likes of sheep and beef, most farms would see a dramatic reduction in performance, due to internal parasites. Slow animal performance dramatically increases carbon output per unit of product.

    That leads me on to another point. Much of the carbon foot print information considers output either on a per hectare or a per unit of product. An either or situation. I believe they should be added together.
    Eg carbon output per kg of product per hectare. This is a much better bench-mark and for many systems would favour conventional farming.


  27. robertguyton says:

    “I didn’t lie. Studies show most organic systems emit more carbon than their counter parts. That’s no lie that is a fact.”
    Other studies show that most organic systems emit less carbon than their counterparts. That is also a fact.
    RBG raises the most important point of all – biodiversity, and describes how that’s where organic farms are vastly superior to conventional fossil-fuel-fed farming. Where is ‘biodiversity’ on the conventional farmers farm-plan? Hard to find, if it’s there at all. The thinking about the value of biodiversity has barely started, except with the organic movement, where we’ve been fostering it for yonks. Soil biodiversity, btw, is hindered, not helped, by the application of urea and superphosphate. Don’t even get me started on the deleterious effects of glyphosate on soil micro-organisms.


  28. robertguyton says:

    RBG – your claims at 8:07 are valid and I note a significant change in the tone of your comments. You’ve come up against the “Homepaddock Effect” and I wonder if you’ll be able, as I have, to tolerate the likes of Tracey and Mr E and their “elusive style” of debate. I’m being polite. Good luck with it, though there are no rewards, so far as I can determine, for persevering, save earning the admiration of ‘lurkers’ who read here in the hope of seeing someone disassemble Ele’s bare-faced pro-National shilling.


  29. robertguyton says:

    ” So tilling has a higher carbon footprint? So what! It’s our choice and I’ll fight for our right to choose the best methods for our property,”

    “Yeah, bloody oath! I burn 500 tonnes of lignite an hour to keep my backyard warm and I’ll fight for my RIGHT to choose the best methods to warm my property!”

    Thoughtless Yob


  30. Richard says:

    Robert – their “elusive style of debate” really? pot calling the kettle black me thinks – in spades


  31. robertguyton says:

    Andrei @ 9:21
    Did I spend my Easter wallowing in the mire of a sordid event?


  32. robertguyton says:

    Richard – RGB says this:
    “Most of you commenters here MAKE STUFF UP! You lie, you twist the facts and you abuse those who disagree with you.”
    I say this:
    “elusive style of debate”
    You ought to be congratulating me on my polite response.
    Perhaps I should be more forthright in the style of RGB.


  33. TraceyS says:

    OK, RBG here is your reference:

    Click to access 2012GMC0002R.pdf

    Cosmos magazine is very interesting by the way, often covering climate change issues in a stimulating and balanced way. You should read it.

    I have never used offensive language on this blog (or any) as you just did. And then you had the gall to accuse others of abuse! All I did was make reference to a statement (yes, presented in an opinion piece) of a well-respected scientist.

    You may note that Robert Guyton repeatedly parrots completely unreferenced opinion as fact. One can only assume he doesn’t care who said what and why. Fortunately few here follow in his faulted footsteps.

    Please calm yourself down. You write like someone who has just woken to the fact that it is not a crime to differ in opinion, to differ in choice of scientific resources, to differ in what and how we choose to present our knowledge. Rights that I value highly.


  34. robertguyton says:

    “What’s immediately clear is that dealing with climate change is no longer something we can leave until tomorrow.”

    Cosmos Magazine

    Ploughing (tilling) soil releases carbon into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change.
    Dealing with that is not “something we can leave until tomorrow”.
    (According to Cosmos, you should read it)


  35. Mr E says:

    Can you please provide a link to the studies that show most organic systems emit less carbon. I’m interested and I bet RBG is too.


  36. robertguyton says:

    RBG will already have read them and you can find them yourself if you really want to learn.
    This response is patterned upon several of your previous comments, Mr E.


  37. robertguyton says:

    “In my mind that makes the Greens a dirty big American Cadillac spewing out black smoke.”

    Surely the comment of someone: entirely naive about New Zealand’s political parties, or entirely naive about New Zealand’s political parties.
    I can’t decide which.


  38. Willdwan says:

    I am not shit at physics/chemistry, nor do I make stuff up. Methane is irrelevant because the narrow wavelengths at which it absorbs infrared radiation are already saturated by N2O and water vapour. Unless those molecules are not present in the atmosphere (unlikely) adding methane will have no effect. The problem with Greenies is it’s all politics and no actual science.


  39. TraceyS says:

    Robert at 10:25 am

    Would you prefer no-till with heaps of glyphosate applied? Those are the choices. Neither is perfect I know. Generally we choose the least damaging to biodiversity and at the moment that appears to be tilling rather than spraying. If it has a higher carbon footprint so be it. We’ve planted heaps of trees to compensate.

    “Yeah, bloody oath! I burn 500 tonnes of lignite an hour to keep my backyard warm and I’ll fight for my RIGHT to choose the best methods to warm my property!”

    No lignite on our place buddy. I was talking about cultivating a paddock or two once every two or three years.


  40. TraceyS says:

    Robert at 11:29 am

    Clearly I do read it Robert. I love reading pop-science magazines when time allows.

    Not sure I’ve ever said that climate change is an issue “we can leave until tomorrow”. Maybe you can quote me? Or not.


  41. JC says:

    “we can leave until tomorrow”. Maybe you can quote me? Or not.”

    Well, you sort of can now courtesy of the IPCC latest report. Once you get behind the usual political BS written by the politicians and activists in the Summary For Policymakers you find the real scientists are calling.. not so much to mitigate climate effects but actually get cracking on adapting to climate change. There are four whole chapters on adaptation as the way to go and a strong recommendation to get fracking and build nuclear plants.

    In short, the real IPCC scientists and the skeptics are much closer in agreeing on the way forward.



  42. TraceyS says:

    Nature International Weekly Journal of Science, interview with James Lovelock, 9 April 2014:

    “So what will the next 100 years look like?

    That’s impossible to answer. All I can say is that it will be nowhere as near as bad as the worst-case scenario.

    Are you still pessimistic about the prospect of finding a political solution to climate change?


    In your latest book you advocate not trying to halt climate change but exercising what you call a sustainable retreat. Why is that?

    I think it is the better approach. To rush ahead and advance is very much the Napoleonic approach to battle. It is far better to think about how we can protect ourselves. If we’re going to do any good, we should be making more effort to keep our own home a suitable place to live in for the future than desperately trying to save somewhere remote. This is particularly true of Britain. We nearly died in the Second World War for lack of food. Our agricultural production hasn’t gone up enough to supply today’s population with what we would need. This is something we should be looking at carefully, not just applying guesswork and hoping for the best.

    Will nuclear energy be part of the future, despite the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan?

    The business with Fukushima is a joke. Well, it’s not a joke, it is very serious — how could we have been misled by anything like that? Twenty-six thousand people were killed by the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami [that caused the nuclear meltdown], and how many are known to have been killed by the nuclear accident? None.

    [On the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Lovelock writes in A Rough Ride to the Future: “The most amazing lies were told, still are told and widely believed… Despite at least three investigations by reputable physicians, there has been no measurable increase in deaths across Eastern Europe.”]

    A lot of investment in green technology has been a giant scam, if well intentioned.”

    Fascinating Easter reading!!


  43. TraceyS says:

    One reason that people deny the need for urgent climate change adaption is that it will require massive amounts of energy (including fossil fuel energy) to achieve. An economic boom will be sparked when large enough numbers of people cotton on to the challenges ahead. Politicians should be preparing for that and the challenges it will present to them as lawmakers because once it starts, it will be unstoppable.

    I hope that a synthetic carbon-neutral (or better) liquid hydrocarbon alternative is invented before then. But it may not be. In fact it has been invented, just not scaled up, yet.

    Individuals should prepare by looking after their own hearth. As a family we started preparing some 15 years ago because I read Lovelock’s work and took it on board. He was wrong about the severity of human impact on the climate, he admits that, but I’ve no regrets for having listened to his hypothesis.

    The IPCC is just catching up now. Big wheel turn slow. Too slow.


  44. robertguyton says:

    Will said: ” The problem with Greenies is it’s all politics and no actual science.”
    Only, it’s not Greenies who are describing methane as a problem, it’s the climate scientists, who are, you know, scientists and most likely aren’t all politics and no science



  45. robertguyton says:

    Lovelock said he was right, and you believed him.
    Now you say, he says he is wrong, and again you believe him.


  46. robertguyton says:

    “The business with Fukushima is a joke”

    Conspiracy, eh!

    Voting Colin Craig then, Tracey?


  47. robertguyton says:

    JC – “the real IPCC scientists…”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    There are some that aren’treal ???

    Another conspiracy theorist in the homepaddock!



  48. robertguyton says:

    ” Generally we choose the least damaging to biodiversity and at the moment that appears to be tilling rather than spraying.”

    Tracey, you indicate that you believe glyphosate application damages biodiversity more than tilling. Can you tell us about that?


  49. JC says:

    “There are some that aren’treal ???”

    From Wikipedia..

    “The Summary for policymakers (SPM) [1] is a summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports intended to aid policymakers. The form is approved line by line by governments: “Negotiations occur over wording to ensure accuracy, balance, clarity of message, and relevance to understanding and policy.”[2]”

    So, if Govts are approving the Summary “line by line” ie, politicians.. do you consider them to be “real” scientists?

    When for example the US demands that certain things be put in as qualifiers or taken out to avoid having to compensate 3rd world countries for US emissions.. do you consider this to be real science?

    And if a real scientist complains that his work has been altered to completely change the meaning, do you consider the altered version to be “real” science?

    The Summary for Policymakers is a political document agreed to by participating countries to achieve a political end.. it may or may not be an accurate statement of the underlying science as has been proved many times.



  50. robertguyton says:

    “So, if Govts are approving the Summary “line by line” ie, politicians.. do you consider them to be “real” scientists?”

    Yes. The scientists are still real. Do you think they become imaginary, just because a governing body negotiates over wording to ensure accuracy, balance, clarity of message, and relevance to understanding and policy?
    I understand your concern and that such political input could result in a corrupted message, but it doesn’t make any of the scientists “unreal”.
    In any case, you are grasping at straws. Overwhelmingly, the scientists have said, loud and clear, that AGW is occuring and threatens our well-being. You don’t want to accept that, so have found one thing or another to justify your head-in-sand burying. You and your ilk could no doubt “find” 1 000 loopholes through which you could wriggle to escape the obvious message from the IPCC, making you useless to the rest of us who want to take responsibility for the situation and do something about it. Deniers will be looked upon with scorn in the near future, where they are not already (ie. most places)


  51. robertguyton says:

    Judith Collins has wheeled out her advisor, Margaret Malcolm, to defend her against the corruption allegations she’s facing. Ms Malcolm was the senior advisor who was present at the “private” dinner in China, along with Collins, Oravida’s CEO, Oravida’s managing director and the mysterious Chinese border official whose identity Ms Collins refuses to disclose.

    Ms Malcolm has corroborated Ms Collins’ assertion that Oravida business was never discussed. From the article:

    Malcolm, who travelled with Collins to China as her senior adviser, backed the minister’s claim that they did not discuss Oravida’s business over the dinner and that they talked mostly tourism.

    “The dinner was very short and discussion was restricted due to some participants having limited English. The conversation centred around New Zealand as a tourist destination.”

    She had not taken any notes in her capacity as adviser.

    With all due respect to Ms Collins, that’s not the point. It doesn’t matter whether Oravida and its business was ever discussed. The issue is that Ms Collins was at a dinner with a number of senior Oravida personnel, and those Oravida personnel saw fit to bring along a Chinese border official. The only conceivable reason for the official to have been invited is that Oravida wanted to show off the level of the company’s influence with NZ politicians. “Hey, we and Minister for Justice are BFFs!”

    The dinner was about benefiting Oravida – a company of which Ms Collins’ husband is a director – whether Oravida business was discussed or not. Ms Collins has been played, wittingly or unwittingly, by Oravida, and she owes a duty to reveal who the official was. To my mind, this is a conflict of interest situation, pursuant to the Cabinet Manuel, and the official’s right to privacy doesn’t exist.


  52. TraceyS says:

    Robert @ 1:54pm. No not odd. Science is about discovery. And I said “listened” not “believed” – a word you appear obsessed with.

    @1:56pm. Paraphrasing to alter the meaning…tut, tut.

    @2:02pm. That’s an individual choice based on specifics. I was not generalising. Wouldn’t dream of telling others what their goals or values should be.


  53. TraceyS says:

    Robert @ 3:30pm. Paragraphs which begin “With all due respect” mostly end with something really dumb and are best ignored.


  54. robertguyton says:

    Tracey – that paragraph didn’t end with something really dumb. It was a considered opinion, from a lawyer. He’s right too, Collins has conflict of interest and the name of the Chinese Border Official should be revealed. In fact, everything he says is spot on. He’s a very clear thinker and that’s what’s needed in the Collins Saga. There’s such a lot of smoke-screening coming from Collins and Key over this dodgy affair.

    As you say, tut, tut…


  55. robertguyton says:

    ‘course that’s the following paragraph. The one in question ends with another true observation about the role of Judith Collins and the Chinese Border Official. Again, the author is correct.


  56. JC says:

    “He’s a very clear thinker and that’s what’s needed in the Collins Saga”

    And another lawyer ex politician has a different view.

    “Opposition damages public morality with Oravida claims

    April 16th, 2014

    Political journalists continue to give credibility to the Oravida beat-up. I’ve not heard anyone I know, outside the ‘beltway’ set, who share their faux indignation. Perhaps aspects yet to be revealed will vindicate the accusers. But on what has been disclosed so far, those alleging corruption disgrace themselves.

    We come from an era, widely regarded as our most incorruptible, when all manner of goods were marked with the Royal crest, and the words “By appointment to HM the Queen”. Approval as suppliers to the Crown was overtly advertised, for the benefit of the supplier. I recall no concern that it was a corrupt practice.

    Nor is there any objective argument that Ms Collins advocacy for any dairy interests in China or elsewhere, has been inimical to the interests of New Zealand. The allegations of corruption are the single element most likely to reduce the barriers to corruption. When it is acceptable to equate such innocuous behaviour with corruption, we lose the capacity to distinguish, and ‘everybody does it’ becomes a more likely excuse for genuine corruption at other levels

    If there was some indication of covert payments then it might run. But most of us know that there is implicit personal endorsement, even if it is unwanted, in most engagements of powerful people.

    As a humble opposition back-bencher I knew that when I was asked to open a building, or celebrate the commencement of a business, I was not asked for my rippling physique, or my rhetoric. I was asked because it was endorsement. It added weight to an occasion.

    When I was asked to take up a complaint about bureacracy, of course I was putting my weight behind the complainant. That did not mean that I necessarily thought they should prevail. Nor did it mean they got a privilege. I was expected to do it even for companies and causes with which I had little sympathy. I went to their dinners and spoke at their AGMs, because they were entitled to expect me to be interested, and to help them if I could without impropriety.

    In my mind, impropriety was simple. If I stipulated for, or accepted, a private benefit (more than a ceremonial bottle of wine, say) or failed to disclose any substantial pecuniary return, I was misusing my office. But othewise I should, and would advance the interests of any constituent or sector, with which I had sympathy, or a policy interest.

    We do not want our leaders to be ignorant eunuchs, fed only the information they get pre-digested from officials. We want them to be well connected. We want them to test all they hear with people they know they can trust, from experience. And as I was warned when I entered Parliament by one of its most experienced Ministers, “Stick to the friends you had before you came here, because from now on you will not know who are your friends, and who are not, till you leave. You will not be sure which are the greasers, and those who are genuine”.

    So be staunch Judith Collins. And remind us all of the utter uselessness of an opposition (and political journalism that sustains it) in banging on about a Minister who is enthusiastic about a company her husband directs, when that opposition ignores huge issues, such as the risk expert report that suggests New Zealand is spending up to $10 bn on earthquake strengthening that is likely to save few lives if any.”


  57. JC says:

    The slow erosion of confidence in the IPCC continues:

    “Lennart Bengtsson

    GWPF provides a translation of an essay by Lenaert Bengtsson entitled The science and politics of climate change. Bengtsson was previously the Director of Research at ECMWF and Director of the Max Planck Insitute for Meteorology. Excerpts from the essay:

    The science isn’t settled and we still don’t know how best to solve the energy problems of our planet.

    More CO2 in the atmosphere leads undoubtedly to a warming of the earth surface. However, the extent and speed of this warming are still uncertain, because we cannot yet separate well enough the greenhouse effect from other climate influences. Although the radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (including methane, nitrogen oxides and fluorocarbons) has increased by 2.5 watts per square meter since the mid-19th century, observations show only a moderate warming of 0.8 degrees Celsius. Thus, the warming is significantly smaller than predicted by most climate models. In addition, the warming in the last century was not uniform. Phases of manifest warming were followed by periods with no warming at all or even cooling.

    The complex and only partially understood relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming leads to a political dilemma. We do not know when to expect a warming of 2 degrees Celsius. In other words: global warming has not been a serious problem so far if we rely on observations. It is only a problem when we refer to climate simulations by computer models.

    There is no alternative to such computer simulations if one wants to predict future developments. However, since there is no way to validate them, the forecasts are more a matter of faith than a fact. The IPCC has published its expert opinion a few months ago and presented it in the form of probabilities. As long as the results cannot be supported by validated models they produce a false impression of reliability.

    It is no surprise that there are other forces that are driving rapid change. Because once government subsidies are involved, huge profits are available. However, before radical and hasty changes to the current energy system are implemented, there must be robust evidence that climate change is significantly detrimental. We are still far away from such evidence. It would be wrong to conclude from the report of the IPCC and similar reports that the science is settled.”


  58. jabba says:

    A Labour/Gween Govt can NOT have co-Deputy PM’s because that would be 2 males and one female. With the Gweens silly co-leadership rule and Labour’s manban, the PM would be Cunliffe with Turei as Deputy


  59. robertguyton says:

    JC @5:10
    Key phrase: ” about a company her husband directs”.


    of Interest.


  60. robertguyton says:

    JC @ 6:04
    Completely irrelevant.


  61. robertguyton says:

    Jabba @ 7:36

    What is, “Gween”?

    (See comment @ 9:45)


  62. JC says:

    “Conflict of Interest.”

    But no profit to the minister or the director. The polls are telling you to do better. Something Green like fracking and nuclear power as recommended by the IPCC.



  63. robertguyton says:

    Oravida sought to and most likely did, profit from the Senior Chinese Border Official seeing the close relationship between the company and the New Zealand Government. Collins’ husband would therefore profit, as would Judith Collins.
    Can’t see that, JC?
    Many others are not so blind.


  64. JC says:

    “Can’t see that, JC?”

    I’ll take Steven Frank’s legal and political experience as my guide here, plus recent polling. The Opposition haven’t got a case and the public is telling you so.



  65. robertguyton says:

    “the public is telling you so”

    That’s really funny.

    An issue like this is not decided by “the public”. There are mechanisms for determining whether a Minister has acted wrongly and they are engaged and grinding away now.
    Won’t be long.


  66. robertguyton says:

    Hey, JC! Why do you think the Senior Border Official was at the private meal?


  67. JC says:

    “Hey, JC! Why do you think the Senior Border Official was at the private meal?”

    Keep up the encouragement on this, get excited about it. Another day wasted by the Opposition in the run up to the election.



  68. robertguyton says:

    It’s fascinating how, JC, you are willing to comment repeatedly about the Collins/Oravida/cronyism issue, but can’t find the courage to speculate on why the Chinese Senior Border Official was at the dinner. I have to conclude that either you aren’t smart enough to be able to think of a reason, or that you know a truthful answer will look bad for Collins.
    Which is it, I wonder?


  69. JC says:

    Ah, insults again. That means you’ve run out of ammo.. again.



  70. jabba says:

    Judith has a chinese dinner and the left go crazy .. Russellll Norman sneaks up to Herr Dotcoms MANSION for a chat and that’s ok it seems. Mr Dotcom is a convicted criminal for goodness sake


  71. robertguyton says:

    “Run out of ammo”
    I’m still asking you the same question I’ve asked for days now.
    You have run from it time and time again.
    Find some courage, JC and have a go at answering the question:
    “Why was the Chinese Senior Border Official at the dinner?”


  72. robertguyton says:

    Jabba – help JC – he’s painted himself into a corner. Why was the Chinese Senior Border Official at the dinner?


  73. jabba says:

    because he was a friend of JC’s mate .. it happens you know.
    What was the REAL reason Russelll meet with Dotcom?


  74. robertguyton says:

    He was a friend of Collins’ husband, is that what you are saying?
    If so, why hasn’t she said so and why is he described as “a Chinese Senior Border Official”? Key knows the identity of the Border Official and could clear the mystery instantly, but he’s not said a word.
    Nope, jabba, that makes no sense. Answers have to make sense to be of value.
    Why, of why, was a Senior Border Official at a private dinner????


  75. jabba says:

    Mr Guyton .. who really gives a shit?
    And what a strange question. “why was a senior border official at a private dinner”. I suspect senior officials all over the world have private dinners .. some would do so every night. So, when you have dinner with someone, do you ask what they do for a crust before accepting the invitation?


  76. robertguyton says:

    Why is it important, jabba. I can see you are struggling with this matter. It’s important because when NZ MPs meet with particular companies who have requested special help from the Government and there is an official at that meeting whose presence won’t be explained by the MP, who is not a personal friend of the MP and who is not an official of the Company, then the obvious conclusion that must be drawn is that he was there to witness the coziness that exists between the MP and the Company for purposes of business that involves him, that is, allowing products across borders. Therefore, the MP is compromised by her presence at such a meal, as that sort of arrangement is expressly forbidden for NZ MPs.
    I know, your head is spinning now, jabba, and any way you don’t “give a shit”, but this sort of thing is important in a democracy such as ours, in a country such as ours – that’s why the people who are asking questions are asking questions.
    Or perhaps you know of an alternative reason for the presence of the Chinese Senior Border Official at the dinner? A reason that is logical and reasonable, that is. (Sorry to make it so tough!)


  77. Bingo Bob says:

    Jabba just settle down and be consoled by the fine line from the Goon Show of many years ago

    “Everybody’s got to be somewhere”!


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